The Buggy Whip shuttles diners back in history to an era when meat and potatoes ruled the roost at dinnertime. Open since 1958, the family-owned steak house brims with more vintage ambiance than the century-old wine corks that form the Statue of Liberty. Customers’ knives liberate savory juices from rib eyes as forks dive into dishes of sizzling scampi and herbed scallops. At lunch, diners can savor hearty broiled sirloins stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and peppers or lighter plates flanked with cottage cheese and tomatoes. In addition to serving steaks, seafood, and potables in the dining room seven days a week, the restaurant accommodates groups by building banquet spreads from fare such as prime rib, teriyaki chicken, and sweet, creamy cheesecake.
To create Stoney's Rockin' Rodeo in 2007, the owner combined his two passions in life: cooking and country dancing. As a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, he has been adamant about offering hearty eats at affordable prices, which is why Stoney's menu is a line-up of comfort cuisine including barbeque meats, half-pound Angus burgers, and steaks grilled to order. At the restaurant’s front bar saloon, drinks are poured while guests belt out their favorite tunes during nightly karaoke or as they perch on a high-top chair to watch a sports game on one of five flat-screen TVs.
At the back of the house, novice line dancers and seasoned do-se-do-ers participate in free country-dance lessons in a spacious dancehall. Award-winning instructors also guide partnered and non-partnered dancers through workshops. Weekly concerts showcase such artists as Chris Young and Phil Vassar, who deliver the real-deal country music that gets everyone kicking up their heels and high-fiving with their imaginary spittoons.
Though The Office Lounge was created as a comfy place for professionals to grab an after-work drink, there’s much more to it than just happy hour. Patrons can swing through anytime to watch Giants and 49ers games or sip on cocktails and beers as they fuel their own competitive drive over darts, an arcade game, or betting how many different liquors are in a gin and tonic.
The bull dances in the dimly lit bar, desperately bucking and trying to rid itself of its wildly grinning rider. Guests surround the mechanical beast to holler and cheer on the intrepid rough rider, who is quickly thrown onto the padding below or simply rides the bull for seven hours until it gets tired and goes into sleep mode. But Southern-inspired bar food and plentiful draft beers swiftly soften the blow of being bucked off the bull. The menu features burgers adorned with onion rings and apple-wood smoked bacon as well as buttermilk-fried chicken wings, and a beer-pong table allows guests to compete at the bar without accidentally getting cast for City Slickers III. Sacramento Bulls Restaurant & Bar also plays host to a variety of events, including bikini bull-riding contests, wet T-shirt contests, and weekly country-music nights.
From its origins in the 1860s as a house of ill repute to its time as a legally dubious watering hole during prohibition, The River City Saloon has deep roots in the seedy history of American nightlife. Today however, the saloon blends an old-timey aesthetic with more family-friendly fare. Kids can saunter up to the bar—a vintage 1905 triple-arch Brunswick—and order a glass of old west sarsaparilla, brewed locally at River City Brewing Company. Peanuts are also available, and visitors are welcome to throw the shells on the floor, in homage to the days when saloons had dirt floors and rampant elephant infestations.
The saloon's pub food is cooked with a hot-air fryer, a grease-free alternative to a deep fryer, and its hoagie sandwiches are served alongside chips and pickle spears. On the weekends, karaoke and music videos make old-west cowboys thankful that Bieber fever has a much lower casualty rate than yellow fever once did.
The sushi chefs at Azukar Sushi slice and roll more than 65 varieties of sushi and sashimi to order. Dishes such as tataki tuna and seared salmon carpaccio top sleek white tables at the new West El Camino Avenue location, which surrounds diners with plum-colored walls. Chopsticks can also pluck up pieces of nigiri sushi, such as octopus and fried tofu skin, or tap out bell carols on the sushi bar’s cylindrical hanging lamps. Specialty rolls such as the honey-walnut roll with shrimp tempura arrive artfully arranged on white-porcelain plates.